11.9 C
Frankfurt am Main

Turkey rejects humanitarian disaster, ‘genocide’ claims against Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh

Must read

Turkey’s UN ambassador brushed aside Armenia’s allegations of a “humanitarian disaster” in the Nagorno-Karabakh region due to Azerbaijan’s blockade of the Lachin Corridor during an emergency UN Security Council meeting, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported, following last week’s warning by a former prosecutor of the International Criminal Court of a potential “genocide” against ethnic Armenians by Azerbaijan.

Armenia and Azerbaijan confronted each other during the emergency UN Security Council meeting regarding the blockade of the Lachin Corridor. Armenia claims the blockade has led to shortages of food, medicine and electricity in the region.

Nagorno-Karabakh, while legally a part of Azerbaijan, was under the control of Armenians until 2020, when Azerbaijan reclaimed the surrounding territory after a six-week war. A Russian-mediated truce left the Lachin Corridor as the sole connection between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia.

A number of countries at the UNSC meeting pressed Azerbaijan to reopen the corridor, citing orders from the International Court of Justice. The International Committee of the Red Cross has been unable to provide supplies since June due to the blockade.

Armenia’s foreign minister, Ararat Mirzoyan, emphasized the dire situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, drawing attention to unemployment, food scarcity and disrupted electricity supply. He cited a report by former ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo suggesting potential genocide due to the blockade, labeling starvation as an “invisible genocide weapon.”

Explaining why it should be considered a genocide against the ethnic Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh, Ocampo cites Article II, (c) of the Genocide Convention: “Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction.”

“There are no crematories, and there are no machete attacks. Starvation is the invisible Genocide weapon. Without immediate dramatic change, this group of Armenians will be destroyed in a few weeks,” Ocampo said in his report.

“In many respects, the starvation of the ethnic Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh represents the archetype of genocide through the imposition of conditions of life designed to bring about a group’s destruction,” he added.

An estimated 1.5 million Armenians died between 1915 and 1917 in the final years of the Ottoman Empire, with many being deported on death marches to the Syrian desert where they faced shootings, poisoning or disease; while modern Turkey acknowledges the death of 300,000 Armenians, it firmly rejects the label of genocide.

Azerbaijan’s UN ambassador, Yashar Aliyev, refuted Armenia’s claims, accusing them of undermining Azerbaijan’s sovereignty. Aliyev stated that Azerbaijan established the blockade for security reasons and to prevent Armenia from undertaking illicit activities.

The two sides blamed each other for the stalled diplomatic processes. The EU’s deputy UN ambassador, Silvio Gonzato, emphasized the importance of depoliticizing humanitarian access and insisted on the immediate reopening of the Lachin Corridor.

“As a country with vested interests in regional peace and stability and actively engaged in initiatives towards this objective, Türkiye is concerned with the attempts of Armenia to exploit international platforms, including the UN Security Council, to express politically motivated allegations regarding the Lachin Road,” Anadolu quoted Turkey’s UN Ambassador Sedat Önal as saying.

Highlighting the importance of understanding the situation in its “proper context,” Önal said Azerbaijan’s legitimate concerns must be considered.

“Azerbaijan has been expressing concerns over the abuse of the Lachin Road for supplying armed groups and illegal mine exploitation in Karabakh for a long time,” Anadolu quoted Önal as saying.

In May 2021, Armenia lodged a complaint against Turkey at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) alleging Turkish assistance to Azerbaijani armed forces during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Historical tensions exist between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, a region within Azerbaijan but predominantly populated by ethnic Armenians. The 2020 clashes were a resurgence of a conflict from the early 1990s when the Soviet Union disintegrated.

Turkey was a key backer of Azerbaijan during the conflict, which ended with a Russian-brokered ceasefire after six weeks of fighting and some 6,000 deaths.

Ankara, which has for years helped to arm and train the Azerbaijani military, was widely accused of dispatching mercenaries from Syria to bolster Baku’s army, but denied the claim.

Ethnic Armenian separatists in Nagorno-Karabakh broke away from Azerbaijan in 1991 as the Soviet Union collapsed, with the ensuing conflict claiming some 30,000 lives.

Liked it? Take a second to support Turkish Minute on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!
More News
Latest News